Be Still

In the wake of Sandy's destruction on the East Coast, I can't help but feel guilty for 
all the complaining I've been doing. In the thick of the moment, the complaining
seems worthwhile. I tell yourself it's ok because right now everything is a 
little bit horrible and I have all the reason in the world to be sad.

But then I take a step back.

I realize that all of this complaining is not accomplishing anything and it
is forcing me to think my little life is tragic when in reality, my life
is beautiful and full. 

As I watch the news unfold from last night I can't help but pray for everyone
on the East Coast and I hope this bible verse can help anyone
who is feeling defeated either from the hurricane/super storm
of just from daily life. 

I love this verse so much that I plan on getting "Be Still"
tattooed on my foot hopefully soon. I think it's a great

Being Candid

this photo may not be of the best quality but i think it might be my favorite picture of myself. it's completely candid and i look happy.

these days i haven't been feeling like myself. i'm not sure if it's the constant sun surrounding me with no end in sight (where, oh, where are you clouds??), my very mediocre grades even with all the energy i put into them, or the fact that i have so much to look forward to and none of it has happened yet.

maybe it's all the above.

all i know is i'm tired of this funk. tired of october and yearning for november. change. yeah, i could use a little change.

but mostly i wish i could step out of body and whisper to myself, "be happy you fool! you have a brilliant life and even though you highly doubt this right now, but you will miss this time in your life. you will. so be happy."

i'll let you know how this goes. for now i'll watch the giants play.

Some Pretty Big News...

I'm Officially Going to Italy 
Next Semester!!!!

I can't believe my acceptance letter has finally come
and that in January I will be setting off on the adventure
of a lifetime. I'm going to have to try even harder in Italian
class now. :) 

I've been to Italy before, the summer before my Freshman year 
of high school with our family friends and I feel so blessed because
my friend that I went to Italy with the first time is also studying abroad 
at the same time!!! She'll be in Florence and I'll be in Orvieto. Here are 
some incredibly awkward photos of me and my family on our last trip. 

And this will be my new home in January:
Orvieto Italy - Fog - Day
source: Here

General View of Orvieto, Italy
source: Here

I seriously can't believe this is happening officially. I also can't believe I thought
it was ok to buy a Pinocchio shirt last time I was there. Oh yeah, because we 
didn't have any of our luggage. That hopefully won't happen this time :)

Have you studied abroad before? Any words of wisdom?

Some of My Favorite Reads

Let's Read Together...
Yesterday my friend asked me for some book recommendations
and I jumped at the chance. I love sharing some of my
favorite books with people and then hearing
what they thought and how our opinions on it
may differ. So here are a few of my favorites...

 "What would you do if an old friend needed you, but it meant turning your new life upside down?"

 "Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now."

 "Gripping, suspenseful, magical, and richly atmospheric . . . Ilie Ruby's haunting debut novel, "The Language of Trees," is exhilarating fiction that announces the arrival of a truly extraordinary storyteller."

 "Layering the lighthearted antics of small-town life with a heartbreaking story of loyalty lost and found, The Alphabet Sisters is an unforgettable story of two generations of women who learn that being true to themselves means being true to one another"
 "A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley."
"Jonathan Safran Foer follows his best-selling debut novel, "Everything Is Illuminated," with an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting story about New York City in the period following September 11."

1. Falling Together- I am a HUGE fan of Marisa de los Santos. She is also a poet
and poetry lives within her words. This is her newest novel.
2. The Fault in Our Stars- it's a quick read and terribly hard to read at times because
at its core it's a teen cancer book. But the writing is really fantastic.
3. The Language of Trees- Once again, all about the writing. The storyline and characters
and writing are all stunning. 
4. The Alphabet Sisters- I love stories about family and especially ones about sisters since
I'm one of three.
5. The Paris Wife- I also love historical fiction and what's better than taking place in
Paris and dealing with one of America's greatest literary giants?
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- This is another difficult one to read at times because
September 11th is still a fresh wound but it's a powerful read and I definitely
recommend it. Then go watch the movie. 

A Fall Day

Last weekend, the minute I got off of work my roommate and I headed straight
to the pumpkin patch to welcome in Fall. We randomly chose this farm called
Aqua Linda Farm and immediately fell in love. 
I didn't know places like this could exist in Arizona! 

(Also, I've gotten really good at sneaking adorable pictures
of strangers. See last photo!)


When I first moved to Arizona from Northern California, the only topic I could ever discuss was the weather. Everyday contained a constant flow of, "Is it possible to be this hot??" or "I don't understand why anyone would want to live here- the weather alone!"

Honestly, I annoyed myself with this constant dialog about weather. What was this accomplishing?

This semester, even this entire year, I've held a different regard for the weather (even with it still being in the 100's when it's October-I forgive you Arizona) and it's one of acceptance. Telling myself, I now live in Arizona, it is going to be hot. Period. Drop the conversation and move on.

This whole concept of acceptance has helped me tremendously not only with the weather in Arizona, but will all aspects of my growing life. I've learned that the more we learn to accept something whether it be the weather, a failed relationship, a loss etc...; the important part is acknowledging the pain or the frustration and letting go.

Once the initial letting go has occurred, the best part can follow. Happiness tends to set in and instead of dwelling on what we can't control, the trials all become simple facts.

I now lean towards believing happiness stems from a general acceptance of all the trials and tribulations that are thrown at us in our day-to-day lives. And you know what? I no longer complain endlessly about the weather. In fact, it's not too bad.

Photo taken by me near my house in California

Life Lately...

A lot has happened since my last time I've really posted. 
So I thought I'd keep you up to date so when I return to 
blogging like normal, there won't be too much to catch up on. :)

First up,

I cut my hair pretty drastically and am loving it.

My dad and little sister came into town and we had a whirlwind weekend involving 
Biosphere 2, Tombstone, seeing Looper (SO good!), a football game, and 
many delicious dinners and lunches.
 I bought a large amounts of flowers and dispersed them around the house
filling whatever containers we had. (like a lot of Coke bottles)

 Last night I saw The Head and The Heart with a bunch of friends
and it was a beautiful concert. I love a band that doesn't need theatrics 
to prove that they're good because they are already too good. Their harmonies
were perfection.

And lastly, I found this place in Tucson that makes you feel like you stepped
into the Bayou with folk music playing, twinkly lights, and trees
canopying everywhere around you. 

What have you been up to?